Tips for Traveling With Teenagers

by | Jun 15, 2024

by Going Places

Ask For Their Input

Teenagers are at a difficult age. They’re still kids but becoming adults. They don’t like being treated like the latter, so try to give them a little credit. Helping with the planning stages of your vacation will make your teen feel respected and involved. Have they always wanted to explore England? Let them help you find cheap flights to London. They’ll appreciate that you’re taking interest in where they want to go, and they’ll feel great about being able to help. It will also help ensure that they’ll have more fun once you’re on your way. They helped picked the time and place, so why wouldn’t they enjoy it?

Let Them Bring a Friend

You’ve probably already noted that your teen is more comfortable (and often like a completely different person) when they’re with their friends than when they’re at home with the family. If it’s feasible, let them bring their BFF along. They’ll feel more at ease and may even feel more daring and willing to try things that would seem lame with just the folks. (Taking a goofy group selfie is great with friends, not with your parents.) If another traveler isn’t in your budget, talk to the other parents. They’ll probably be more than willing to pay at least part of their kid’s way, if for no other reason than to get them out of the house for a few days.

Give Them Some Space

Spending time together is great, but being confined to the same airplane for 5 hours or the same hotel room for 5 days will make some time apart seem like a dream. Especially if your teen is bringing a friend, give them some space to do their own thing. Even if it’s just to sit at a separate table at lunch or to go on an amusement park ride, a little alone time can be beneficial for them. Remember – if they’re doing their own thing, then you can too!

Bend The Rules a Bit

Being a little strict or protective in the day-to-day is understandable. But just like how you might relax the rules of your diet (or your wardrobe) when you’re on vacation, you should relax the rules you place upon your teens. So, let them stay up later or sleep in longer. Let them eat a little more junk food than usual. Just be sure they know that when the party’s over, everything goes back to normal.

Be A Good Sport

Just like how you might want your teen to loosen up and try new things, so should you. There will most likely be a point on your trip where your kid really wants to try an activity or go somewhere that you have no interest in – but you didn’t leave your hometown to just do the same old thing! We’re not saying you have to try bungee jumping, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attempt snowboarding. Or going on a haunted ghost town tour. Or try an intimidating new cuisine. Even if you end up embarrassing yourself a bit, the fact that you went along with it will be appreciated. And think of all the memories!

Pick a Destination They’ll Love

Just like adults, teens are also in need of destinations that bring on the fun and excitement. Teens respond best to places that let them explore the world in person. Think about their interests. For example, if your child is particularly fond of a certain sport, visit places related to that sport. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has all sorts of exhibits that your favorite basketball fan is going to love. If your teenager has been studying a specific period in school, such as the Colonial period, a visit to Colonial Williamsburg and nearby Jamestown can bring their study of history to vivid life. Teens really love hands-on activities of all kinds that let them use their imaginations and learn new things.

Encourage Them to Document Your Trip

Documenting your trip is one of the many joys of taking a vacation with your teens. They often love to share what they’re doing with their friends as it happens. Give your teenagers an opportunity to read up on the locations you’re going to visit beforehand, including the background of the places you’ll be visiting. Your teenagers can also easily learn how to use a camera to create inventive shots that will show off the highlights of your trip. Or, if your kid is a budding writer, help them start a blog of their own and show off their creative skills. This can serve as a virtual scrapbook that lets them preserve some of their favorite childhood memories. A Youtube channel of their own can also demonstrate their media skills, which leads us to…

Set a Flexible Schedule With Some Free Time for Them

Flexible schedules are imperative for teenagers, especially on vacation. Teens respond best when they have structure. They like knowing what they’ll be doing each day. A schedule that allows time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is ideal. At the same time, teenagers also enjoy having some downtime of their own. A good vacation plan is one that combines all sorts of options. Let your teens have a list of activities they know about in advance each day of your vacation. You should also make it clear that they’ll have some time to themselves. For example, if you’re at a hotel with a pool, allow them at least 30 minutes a day to take a dip and cool off after spending lots of time in the sun.

Weil College Advising

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